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Christmas Tree Choices Newsletter


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Newsletter 2014

Christmas Tree Choices

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Atlas Cedar

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Atlas Cedar Foliage

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Female Red Cedar

It’s time to review tree options again. I'm still a real tree guy but there are three choices: 1) artificial, 2) cut and 3) living trees for planting outdoors after the holidays. There are pros and cons of each choice.

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Adolescent Italian Stone Pine Mature Italian Stone Pine

Artificial Christmas trees are best for people with allergies, but the fragrance from real trees is a benefit. Cut trees primarily come from farms that grow trees for that purpose, so there is not an environmental issue related to cutting down these trees. The fact that toxic chemicals are used to grow them is the only concern.

Fraser fir and noble fir are the two most popular cut trees, but other varieties include Virginia pine, Afghan pine (Eldarica), Leyland cypress and Eastern red cedar. With the exception of Virginia pine, these all can be purchased as living trees and planted after the holidays. Leyland cypress should not be purchased at all however. It has serious disease issues and is dying out. Eldarica pine should only be planted in arid conditions. It is a desert plant.

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 Fraser Fir                  Italian Stone Pine              Noble Fir                           Rosemary 

The very best choices for living trees to be planted in the landscape after Christas are Eastern red cedar, Italian stone pine, and rosemary - which are great for small spaces or table tops.

A new recommendation I have for you is Atlas cedar. It is dramatic and grows in a wide range of climates and soils. Remember to set the living tree up in the house just before Christmas and plant outdoors immediately after removing the ornaments. The longer trees are inside, the weaker they will become and less likely to survive outside.

To discuss this newsletter or any other topic, tune in 8am -11am to the Dirt Doctor Radio Show. The call-in phone number is 1-866-444-3478. Listen on the internet or click here to find a station in your area.

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Naturally yours,

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Howard Garrett

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